-- C.A. Beard
On last month's Fix;
the answer to last month's Fix,
"Now that Clinton has been reelected, albeit with a moderating Rep. Congress, national financial collapse may be forestalled, but a recession is virtually guaranteed. How will you and your's defend yourselves?"is
I strongly suggest investigating some tax sheltered investments, earn as much as you can, and move your money offshore. And maybemove yourself offshore as well. The Caymen Islands are beckoning.
On Post Election Exit Polls;
Recall this was the year of the "Soccer Moms", those middle class working women who were touted by the media as the swing vote of this election. As it happens, Clinton was reelected primarily by women, but soccer moms made up less than 5% of his votes. However, to dismiss the "Gender Gap" (or "Arousal Gap" in the words of Rush Limbaugh) as an X chromosome linked trait would be inaccurate. You see it wasn't that Clinton appealed to all women, but rather to minority women and white females who work in State and Federal govt. In fact he captured over 80% of these voters. Minority women voted for the party that promises to increase the welfare state while white women govt. employees voted for the guy who increased their leave (paid and unpaid) and child care options. In other words, it was the "Pander Gap".
On Star Trek Voyager;
I'll be honest. I haven't paid much attention to this show, or DS9 for that matter. I think they sort of pale to "The Next Generation". But last night I happened to catch an episode that makes me think the liberal writers at TNG (you know, the same guys who came up with the Galactic Warp 5 Speed Limit, the End of the Universe because of a tachyon beam, the near enviro-genocide of sentient salt crystals, etc.) have been hired on the Voyager team.
On last night's show, the Voyager crew finds itself back at the earth of 1996, trying to stop some evil guy who will succeed in destroying the earth if he launches his time ship. Of course, the evil guy is the head of a large corporation whose only motive for going to the future is capitalistic greed. Meanwhile, two of the crew have crashed their shuttle in Arizona and are being held by gun toting militia members. Jakote (sp?) tells his abductors, "You know, I used to believe in violence, but guns won't solve anything". Seconds later, another Voyager crewman comes to their rescue - with a phaser.
The show ends with yet more enviro drivel. A time cop from the 29'th century shows up to escort Voyager back to its proper point in spacetime with the admonishment, "You should leave time travel to those who know what they are doing." This guy, of course, works for the Federation Time Police. Clearly, the Voyager writers believe that big govt. is THE answer for, well everything.
I'm thinking of the perfect Star Trek plot. It would involve a Lesbian crew of vegetarian GreenPeace members confronting the Borg and convincing that collectivist society that they should have labor unions and paid leave. In a side plot, a couple would be having some disharmony because one would be having phallic dreams of a tree. Naturally, the ship's counselor would bear a striking resemblance to Deanna Troy. The episode would end with a Borg ship floating aimlessly in space and falling apart while a group of Borg engineers, empowered with their new found liesure time, discover the concept of torte law and sue the collective in a class action law suit for higher than normal prosthetic failure rates among Warp Core workers.
On things that drive me nuts;
Why is it that whenever one moves it takes the better part of a year to get one's life back in order? Before I left MN, I notified my bank, VISA carrier, and the offices of all the Journals I get of my new address. To a one, they have ALL failed to implement the change. I have not seen a Physics Today, Linux Journal or any other journal since the move. Yet amazingly, the dues have found me.
I have also learned that VISA is not a major credit card. "How's that?", you scream. Yes it's true. When on the road during the move, I tried to call home using 1 800 CALLATT. The pleasant robotic voice intoned, "Enter your calling card number or major credit card number now." I did. "I'm sorry", said the voice, "but your card is not valid." I called the ATT Operator, "What pray tell IS a major credit card?" "We accept MasterCard, Discovery and American Express." VISA? HA! Trouble us not with these lesser financial instruments.
But I digress. Let me simply detail one saga.
I have a Chase Visa. Before leaving MN I told Chase my new address. "Fine", they said, "You'll be getting the next bill in Seattle." Well, I get here. The Visa deadline comes and no bill. I call again. "Oh, well it has not gone through the system yet. Just send us the payment to this address." Another month comes and still no Visa statement. I call Chase, get the robot and when it asks for my current ZIP code it says the one I entered (Seattle) is not valid. I try my old MN ZIP code. That's not valid either. I finally get though to a human. "Well, there seems to be a mistake in the ZIP we have for you. We'll send you another bill. Meanwhile, send your payment to this address."
Today, after 3 months, I finally got the current statement - with an $18.00 penalty for late payment.
On Things that Drive me Nuts: Part 2;
OK. I couldn't resist. Long time readers will recall that I wrote the Disclaimer for two reasons. A) To get people off my back for typos (I still write this rag in an ASCII editor and don't go through the joy of spell checking HTML tags) and B) To give fair warning to people that I will delete submissions that I have to bend over backwords to decode. As it is, I still have problems when I get a submission in UNIX mail, put it on my Mac at work and then put it on an MS-DOS disk to work on at home. UNIX text ends lines in Line-feeds, Mac text ends in Carriage Returns and DOS text lines end with Carriage Returns plus Line feeds. The upshot of all this is, if one ftps a UNIX file onto the Mac, and then copies the file to a DOS floppy, reading the file on a DOS PC will make the entire file appear as one looooooong line. [Cuz the UNIX LFs are converted to CRs, but DOS doesn't see CR-LF so it never wraps the line.] Going from DOS to UNIX naively produces text that is always double spaced (proof left to the reader). Now I have learned tricks to get around this, and as long as I never err, life is tolerable.
Problem now is, former class mates and colleagues with whom I collaberate who just ASSUME that the entire world runs exactly the same software that they have. Just today, a colleague in TX with whom I'm working on a paper sent me a document, written in Word-Perfect 3, encoded with Pegasis mail for Win 95, to my UNIX mail account with the expectation that I'd read it on my Mac Word V6. I manually stripped his letter and uudecoded the file, which was corrupt, and gave up when I attempted the Word Import and locked my Mac. Geez, why not just send me self extracting documents, written in PGPencrypted Sanskrit, that are linked to an AS400 decompression executable?
Are people trying to drive me insane, or are they just ignorant and apathetic?
On a call for columns ;
For some time now, there has not been a Guest Editorial from amongthe readers. To remedy that, I propose the following. The bulk of the readersare friends that I've met through college, and most of you are scientistsof one stripe or another. Hence, I would suggest that once every 2-3 months,one of you write an Editorial that has to do with some current topic in science.To kick off, I would like someone to step up to the plate and discuss the recent discovery of evidence of life on Mars. The headlines in the massmedia came out about 2 months ago, but have since gone silent. Certainly,a discovery of such magnitude deserves more comment. I would suggestan article of about 300-500 words with 2-3 sources for those of us wholike to read more.
C'mon now, don't be shy.
1. Arrested in Georgia in 1992 for murder and briefly left unsupervised in thepolice car, Melissa Berguson discussed the crime with her boyfriend, includinghow they should have avoided getting caught. A hidden tape recorder capturedthe conversation and was used against Berguson in her trial. She challenged its use claiming that an arrestee has a right to assume privacy when left alonewhile under arrest. In September 1996, the Georgia supreme Court found againstBergeson. The boyfriend is on death row.
2. In September the Washington Post reported on a legal marijuanaserving cafe' in Dalfzil, the Netherlands. Manager Ernst Gunst boaststhat his establishment rejects cannabis grown with chemical fertilizersand pesticides. "We think that natural health is important. That's whywe won't sell soft drinks. Coca Cola is just sugar and water."
3. The Canadian Press newspaper reports that a customer of apet shop in Napierville Quebec has reported the shop to the French language monitoring office because the parrot she was shown spoke only English. The Cultural Ministry is investigating.
>From firstname.lastname@example.org Fri Nov 1 10:19:26 1996 > The UW Medical Center is a monstrous building that > someone has obviously taken great pride in making completely unnavigable. That was pretty funny, Stevie! You should write a column or something. Sort of a Dave-Barry-but-more-of-physicist-kind-of-guy-column. Of course, you'd need to have more funny or frustrating things happen to you, and less of the "had to use Planck's constant today" stories. Maybe some jokes about the "family Joules". Anyway, it was humorous. >1. October 16: Men, in case you didn't know this, October is National Breast > Awareness Month. So, like, if you needed an excuse. Another funny one. You are missing your calling, dude. Submit some stuff to the paper or something. > tom (THAT's id) hall 'email@example.com' No, it's "tom (that's Ion Storm) hall" now. Later, *****_ ## *** \ +------------------+ ** __ __| | Tom Hall | (| o \ o|) | Game Designer | ** \ | | Ion Storm | ** ****| | firstname.lastname@example.org | ** * O *| +------------------+ ** \__,_/* **/ \**
2. And Fred Potts writes an extremely long missive, butwith intense concentration you may get his point.
From email@example.com Wed Nov 20 15:02:24 1996The only way to keep your money from the democrats is to impeach Clinton.Pottsie
3. Matt Birkholz has some news;
From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Nov 20 18:35:12 1996 Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 14:49:57 -0500 (EST) From: LANGER STEVEN C
"Now that Clinton has been reelected, how will you shelter the fruits of your labor from increasingly confiscatory taxation?"Simple: If I want $100,000/year, I need to make $150,000/year.Thank goodness the Republicans are there to hold the brake, eh? I mightotherwise have to iterate over half a dozen Robin-of-Locksley tax bracketsexpressly designed for the "stinking, *filthy* rich" to arrive at an answernearer $500,000. Frankly, $150,000/year is already too far out of reach.Making it $500,000 is not a little like kicking a man when he is down.As! for humorous anecdotes, there is the story of AZ's 1996 Proposition 200,which starts something like "Anyone convicted of a violent crime whileunder the influence must serve their full sentence..." and then basicallydecriminalizes anything you can get a doctor to sign for. It passedhandily (56% of the vote?). This, of course, did not sit well with socialengineers and religious warriors alike, and the governor started makingnoise about "vetoing" the proposition (and one other that would put an Indiancasino near Holy Scottsdale, AZ 90201).Here is the punchline: Nobody in AZ politics doubts the stupidity ofsupporting a veto of a proposition. "It is *worse* than death to apolitician, because it means *no* re-election, and these guys will do*anything* to get re-elected." Viva la government by The People, eh?Here is the PUNCH: Nobody in AZ politics doubts the stupidity of theGovernor either. Right now, he has got the State's lawyers working on away to persuade the Indians ! not to invade The Sanctity, and a way toignore/delay/minimize the effe ct of Prop.200.And so is human nature,Matt Birkholz Send mail for PGP 2.6.2 public key.Key Fingerprint = B3 34 FB 3E 3C FE E8 57 AA B4 B2 95 A7 C0 1E AF
4. Texas Tom lengthens his loquacity.
From email@example.com Wed Nov 20 21:36:41 1996>"Now that Clinton has been reelected, how will you shelter>the fruits of your labor from increasingly confiscatory>taxation?"I dunno. More importantly, why does your name say "LANGER STEVEN C" andyour address say "
", which many of us know are yourtrue initials...unless we've been duped all these years....Eh, Gerhard?Later, *****_ ## *** \ +------------------+ ** __ __| | Tom Hall | (| o \ o|) | Game Designer | ** \ | | Ion Storm | ** ****| | firstname.lastname@example.org | ** * O *| +------------------+ ** \__,_/* **/ \**
Ed: Well that is really Gerhardt. And the LANGER STEVEN C has been theresince the creation of the account. Just a typo. I have asked several timesto have the SysAdmin at Oakland correct it, but now I've just sort of given upa monument to the ignorant apathy that pervades our culture.
5. And Rafe Donahue forwards this.
From email@example.com Thu Nov 21 14:11:53 1996Subject: funny storyUse as you see fit.Hope all is well in that winter wonderland of the great northwest.Rafe------- Forwarded messageFrom: Ames, Michael, HMR/USSent: Thursday, November 21, 1996 10:54AMTo: Mosier, Mike, HMR/US; Fiola, Michael, HMR/USSubject: FW: A Great Story I have an ex-student who works at SAS in NC. You beer drinkers might appreciate this note that she just sent me. > > The following is a letter sent to Miller Brewing Company earlier > this month. Miller's response is at the end. > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- > Miller Brewing Company > Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201 > > Dear Sir or Madam, > > I have been a drinker of Miller beer's for many years (actually, ever > since that other company donated a big chunk of change to Handgun > Control Inc. back in the mid 80's). > > Initially, my beer! of choice was Lite, but some time in mid 1990 while > in Honduras I switched to MGD smuggled up from Panama. Now, for > nearly six years, I have been a faithful drinker of MGD. > > For these past years, I have come to expect certain things from > Genuine Draft. I expect that whenever I see that gold can of MGD, > I am about ready to enjoy a great, smooth brew. > > But wait! Sometime around the first of the year, my beloved MGD > changed colors, so to speak. That familiar gold can was no longer > gold! Knowing that I am, by nature, somewhat resistant to change, > I forced myself to reserve judgment on the new can design. > > Gradually, I grew to appreciate the new label. > > That was until about May of this year. That was when I discovered > (empirically) that I really didn't like the new design. Further > investigation of the cause of my distress resulted in the > following observations: > > 1. Your cans are made of aluminum. > 2. Aluminum is ! a great conductor of energy. > 3. Your beer is commonly consumed out side, and thus, the container > may be exposed to sunlight. > 4. Sunlight striking the can causes radiant warming of the surface > of the can. > 5. The resultant heat (energy) is transferred through the aluminum, > by conduction, to the contents of the can (the beer). > 6. Warm beer sucks. > > This is a process that can be observed in just about any beer. > However, this process is significantly accelerated in MGD because > you painted the damn can black!!! > > Who was the rocket scientist that designed the new graphic for the can > and implemented the change right before summer? Granted, this process > may not be real evident up there in Wisconsin, but down here in > Oklahoma where the summers are both sunny and hot, this effect is > quite a problem. There's no telling what the folks in Texas and > Arizona are having to put up with. > > Knowing that you would probably not address this issue unless you had > firm evidence of a problem, I! and several other subjects conducted > extensive experimentation. The results of these experiments are > listed below. > > The experiments were conducted over two days on the deck next to my > pool. > > The study included seven different types of beer (leftovers from a > party the previous weekend) that were initially chilled to 38 degrees > and then left exposed to sunlight for different lengths of time. > These beers were sampled by the test subjects at different intervals. > The subjects, all normally MGD drinkers, were asked at each > sampling interval their impressions of the different beers. > > The length of time between the initial exposure to sunlight and the > point where the subject determined the sample undrinkable (the > Suckpoint) was determined. The average ambient temperature for the > trials was 95 degrees F. > > Beer Type Average Suckpoint (min) > > Miller Lite (white can) 6.2 > Bud (white can)! 5.5 > Bud Lite (silver can) 5.2 > Ice House (blue and silver can) 4.4 > Coors Lite (silver can) 4.1 > Miller Genuine Draft (black can) 2.8 > Coors (gold can) 0.1 > > It was evident that the color of the can directly correlates to the > average suckpoint, except for Coors which was pretty much determined > to suck at any point. > > It is to be hoped that you will consider re-designing your MGD cans. > All beer drinkers that are not smart enough to keep their beer in > the shade will thank you. > > Sincerely, > > > Bradley Lee > Beer-drinker > ---------------------------------------------------------------- > > > < I have a friend that works for Miller Brewing in Milwaukee and she > < knew about the letter sent in by Bradley Lee. > < She sent me the Miller response and it appears below. She says they > < have had a lot of fun with this guys letter. Enjoy. > ------------------------------------------------------ Dear Bradley ! Lee, Thank you for your letter and your concern about the MGD can color as it relates to premature warming of the contents. Like you, we at Miller Beer take beer drinking very seriously. To that end, we have taken your letter and subsequent experiment under serious consideration. Outlined below are our findings and solution to your problem. May we add that we have had similar letters from other loyal beer drinkers, mostly from the Southern United States. First, let us congratulate you on your findings. Our analysis tends to agree with yours regarding Coors. It certainly does suck at about any temperature. Now, it was our intentions when redesigning the MGD can to create better brand identity and brand loyalty. Someone in marketing did some kind of research and determined we needed to redesign the can. You will be pleased to know, we have fired that idiot and he is now reeking havoc at a pro-gun control beer manufacturer. The design ! staffer working in cahoots with the marketing idiot was also down- sized. However, once we realized this mistake, to undo it would have been even a bigger mistake. So, we took some other actions. From our market research, we found a difference between Northern beer drinkers and Southern beer drinkers. Beer drinkers in the South tend to drink slower than beer drinkers in the North. We are still researching why that is. Anyway, at Miller Beer, it was never our intention to have someone take more than 2.5 minutes to enjoy one of our beers. We pride ourselves in creating fine, smooth, quick drinking beers and leave the making of sissy, slow sipping beers to that Sam guy in Boston. However, it is good to know that you feel our Miller Lite can last as long as 6 minutes. However, may we suggest in the future you try consuming at least two in that time frame. From your letter, we had our design staff work 'round the clock to come up with a solution that would help not just MGD but all our fine Miller product! s. We hope you have recently noticed our solution to your problem. We found that the hole in the top of the can was not big enough for quick consumption. So, we have now introduced the new "Wide Mouth" cans. We hope this will solve all your problems. Might I also suggest that if you want to get the beer out of the can even faster, you can poke a hole on the side near the bottom, hold your finger over it, open the can, tip it to your mouth and then pull your finger off the hole. This is a common way to drink beer at parties and impress your friends. This technique is known as "shot-gunning". You should like the name. Again, thank you for your letter and for bringing to our attention that there might be other beer drinkers taking more that 2.5 minutes to drink our beers. Let me assure you that I am have our advertising department work on a campaign to solve this problem, too. Sincerely, Tom B. Miller Public Relations Miller Brewi! ng Co. P.S. And remember, at Miller Beer we do favor gun control , t oo. So please use two hands when firing.
-- A local Seattle radio show, which is trying to collect money for the
Clinton legal defense fund. MAKSI stands for "Mothers Against Kenneth
"Why vote for the lesser of two evils? CTHULHU in '96!"
-- A bumper sticker. For those of you who have not read the Necronomican,CTHULHU is the Demon Lord who existed before the God of Jehovah. He makes Satan look like a mischivious little boy.
And finally, I saw someone wearing a T-shirt with the Top Ten Reasonsto move to Seattle, the number one reason is "Because I'm really intriguedby the concept of traffic that does not move."
Locke is already in trouble over an earlier deal that he swung with Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Allen offered to buy the fiscally weak Seattle Sonics basketball team in exchange for assurances from then County Executive Locke that the County would provide money for a new sports arena. Locke used this during the campaign as a feather in his "pro-business" cap. It now turns out that Locke had no authority to deliver on the pledge,and Allen may withdraw the offer to keep the team in Wash.
Ed: Now if only there was a bimbo involved ...
2. Nov. 21, Seattle (from the university paper "The Daily"):
Police Curb Greek Snowball Tradition. by Jason Sykes UW Police officers arrived in front of the TKE Fraternity and prevented a volatile snowball standoff from erupting into complete mayhem. A large group composed of memebers from many frats had gathered across the street and appeared ready to continue the six year tradition of knocking out the windows of the TKE house to celebrate the first snowfall of the year. The TKE frat brothers took precautions and barricaded the front windows and alerting the police. The snowballers reaction to the police was overwhelmingly negative."Every minute somewhere in America someone is getting killed, raped,carjacked, buttfucked and the police are wasting time with kids having fun in the snow, " said freeshman pre-arts and science major Derek Lee. Many other would be snowballers voiced similar sentiments. In the past two years, several TKE occupents were injured when cue balls were substituted for snow balls. The police presence was a response to this threat.3. Nov. 25: In the brick tiled area of campus locally known as "Red Square", hundreds of undergrads protested against homelessness. Known as the "Grate American Sleepout" the sutdents slept on steam grates to simulate what the homeless people do. Despite numerous accusations that a Rep. Congress has increased the number of homeless, this reporter was unable to find a group of College Republicans holding a "Pro-Homeless" demonstration.
No explanation has been forthcoming for the largest 2'nd term cabinet changeover in the nation's history except for Reich, who says he needs to spend more time with his family. One wonders why he just didn't make use of the Family Leave Bill.
2. Nov. 11: In the aftermath of the election, House Dems are calling for Newt Gingrich to step aside from the Majority Leadership position while ethics charges against him are pending. Newt, who may have improperly used public funds to finance a college course with a partisan bent, has thus far refused. Saying that uncertainty in his future statis is a distraction, the Dem minority say that Newt's resignation would restore confidence in the body. Strangely, no one seems to think that Pres. Clinton should step aside pending investigations of Whitewater, Paula Jones, Travelgate, Cattlegate, Fostergate ....
For Immediate Release Further Information Contact Ellen Elias (707)829-0515 ext. 322 firstname.lastname@example.org Statement of Tim O'Reilly, president of O'Reilly & Associates, in response to confirmation of Justice Department's investigation of Microsoft September 19, 1996, Sebastopol, CA--Tim O'Reilly, upon learning of the confirmed investigation of Microsoft by the federal Department of Justice, called for Microsoft to cease its anti-competitive behavior. Mr. O'Reilly made the following comments: "I'm delighted to hear about the Department of Justice investigation. We don't know what they'll find, but we do know that Microsoft's recent practices have been bad for users, and they have demonstrated a pattern of anti-competitive behavior. The fact of this investigation will further alert people to Microsoft's activities. I believe in the marketplace, and think that there can be a healthy impact on the marketplace from the DOJ investigation. "Each time O'Reilly & Associates has brought a particular fact about Microsoft into the public eye, the response from Microsoft has been deceptive and confusing. In July, 1996, we complained publicly about their 10-connection limit on Windows NT Workstation. In response, Microsoft removed the 10-connection limit from the code, but then kept it in the user license. Further, Microsoft made extravagant claims that they were doing this for users: they claimed that NT Workstation was just not suitable as a Web server platform. That claim inspired our Senior Editor Andrew Schulman's investigation into the actual differences between NT Workstation and NT Server. He found that, indeed, at the core, they are not very different at all. "Microsoft doesn't need to win every battle to stifle innovation. As powerful as they are, they can determine the terms under which software development happens, and they can seriously limit important development by their anti-competitive behavior. Here's an example: when O'Reilly & Associates first developed and marketed WebSite(TM), Microsoft patted us on the back, because we were legitimizing NT as a Web server platform. But when Microsoft decided they wanted the Web server market for themselves, they used their restrictive NT 4.0 Workstation user license as a tool to frighten users against using any competitors' Web servers on that platform. Microsoft's actions have made it difficult for us, as well as all other server vendors, to compete. So what kind of industry does that create? "Netscape has claimed that many people have been afraid to speak in fear of retribution from Microsoft. Netscape has said that now, these people will feel free to speak publicly, and I think that should prove very enlightening. I hope the Department of Justice will vigorously pursue this investigation. I also hope the public will hold Microsoft to the same high standard of business practices to which our entire industry should adhere."